It’s hot, sultry, beautiful buzzbait time once again.

Traditionally, the month of July signals the prime time for buzzbaits because bass will be exploding on them like fireworks on the Fourth of July!

Above, a nice smallmouth that exploded on a buzzbait in less than a foot of water.

Where I fish on Lake Powell (Arizona/Utah) there are a lot of high cliff walls constituting the shoreline. Early morning topwater fishing tends to be best and also lasts longer on what locals call “east-facing” walls. Actually, these are walls on the eastern shores, so technically the walls face west. Still, everyone understands when someone says they had good topwater action running the east-facing walls in the early morning hours.

The aerial photo above shows five east-facing walls in spots called the Kanes, a couple of creeks above West Canyon and in Friendship Cove. They fall within a ten mile radius, or ten minutes apart. Running these walls quickly (about 15-20 minutes fishing each wall), you can cherry pick a bunch of decent bass off each wall while they are still throwing down some shade. This same “run and buzz” pattern can produce anywhere that east-facing shorelines throw down early morning shade a little longer time than more open shorelines.

A key aspect however, is not just any east-facing walls, but the real key is for otherwise good spots to lie underneath the east-facing walls. Simply because there is an east-facing wall, that does not make it a good spot. What sweetens four of the five spots shown on the aerial photo is that each is an inflowing creek mouth. The fact they lay under east-facing walls makes them prime for early morning buzzbait or topwater action. Another plus is these spots are clustered less than a ten minute boat ride apart from each other. So you can run them all quickly and pull a few decent bass off each wall if you are lucky.
Two Rods Better Than One
I often rig two buzzbait rods:

  • one baitcaster with a heavier buzzbait and heavier line, and
  • one spinning rod with a lighter buzzbait and ten pound test.

This way I can change buzzbait styles, actions, sizes, also change casting arms, and if one rod temporarily goes “down” or out of commission due to a line snarl or for whatever reason, I can instantly pick up the other rod to keep fishing.

Make no mistake, you WILL catch more bass using two different rods, two different buzzbait presentations (one casting, one spinning). You will catch less fish using only one rod.
Add a Third Rod for Throwbacks Also
A third rod with a throwback soft bait (either weightless or lightly-weighted) is also essential to throw back at any good fish that blow up but miss the buzzbait, follow it to the boat or that you otherwise spot with your eyes or on the sonar. They may or may not swipe at the buzzbait again (or at all) but you can often catch them on the throwback soft bait of your choice. It’s tough to beat a 4 or 5 inch Senko as a throwback bait.

A good throwback bait rigged and ready to throw – is essential. Shown above is a 4-inch 9S-Series Yamamoto Senko in “threadfin shad” color #927 with lightweight 1/8 and 3/16 oz Bassdozer Wacky Jigs. Being able to instantly throw back an unweighted or lightweight soft bait can be crucial to catching many more bass than just with buzzbaits alone.

Although this info is specific to how I use buzzbaits on Lake Powell, you will be able to apply some of these principles to your own home waters anywhere. Good luck!

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